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Dear Mr. President...

By Sarah Barton


Now that Obama is officially in office, sportswriters have been coming up with things that he can do for sports in America. Most commonly we've seen a plea for the elimination of the BCS (which Barack has openly supported), a movement to revamp youth sports across the country, and a request to prohibit all mock NFL Drafts until April. (OK, so maybe I'm the only one who feels that way about the Draft, but come on Kiper and McShay, it's still three months away.)

In addition to these large-scale entreaties, Celtics fans have every right to burden the Commander-in-Chief with a few of their own. I took the liberty of making a modest list of things (in no particular order) that Barack can do to benefit Celtics fans, players, and the franchise as a whole.

1. Cheaper tickets. According to StubHub, a ticket for a 2008 NBA Finals game in Boston ranged from $140 (and no, a complimentary pair of binoculars was not included) to $12,500 (and no, a 2009 Hyundai Accent was not included). In the regular season, $25 will get you closer to the banners than the players. As a comparison, the average price of a Charlotte Bobcats ticket is $36.26, and the Dallas Mavericks have over 500 tickets priced at $2 for most home games.

2. Prohibit everyone on the team from getting a haircut after a loss. (Except Scal, who should refrain from all cranial activity indefinitely due to his recent propensity for concussions.) After losing a game, a haircut cannot occur until after a win, regardless of days off. If KG and Ray Allen want to keep their shiny domes, winning would be the only option. That should be enough incentive to avoid another 2-7 stretch. (As if the constant media scrutiny wasn't enough.)

3. Encourage Tommy Heinsohn to be a bit less subjective. Sure, his bias is a result of over 50 years with the Celtics organization, but I often find myself reaching for the Mute button during CSN broadcasts. It's OK, Tommy, the Celtics can make mistakes. And yes, sometimes a Celtic will commit a foul. Any and all subjectivity can be exhausted on the Tommy Award.

4. Expedite Stephon Marbury's passport. Maybe Olympiacos will change its mind and want him again, so Starbury should be on the ready. Meanwhile, in a very democratic ESPN.com poll on Tuesday, 73% of nearly 86,000 respondents said that Marbury would not be a good fit for the Celtics. The sports world does not require an Electoral College. Majority rules. He did not get voted into Boston.

5. Deem James Posey's contract with the Hornets null and void, thus putting #41 back in Celtic green. Simple as that.

6. Ray Allen attended the Inauguration, then had to charter a private plane and hustle to Miami to meet Doc's 8pm curfew. The least Barack can do is come to a Celtics game. How about March 8 when Orlando comes to town? Not only will it be a battle of two of the best teams in the NBA, but Mr. President can kill two birds with one stone since Magic big man Dwight Howard was also an Inauguration attendee. Come on, it's not like he's busy or anything.

7. Take five percent of each Celtic player's salary and put it toward rebuilding the economy. The Big Three alone would contribute over $3 million.

8. Incorporate the St. Patrick's Day uniforms more regularly into the repertoire. The gold adds a nice touch.

9. Secure Eddie House a spot in this year's Three-Point Shootout. This season, House has connected on 41% of his 3's, and has really made a case for himself recently by draining 22 of 32 shots (68.75%) from downtown in the last four games. (Insert "bringing down the House" pun here.)

10. Add more TD Banknorth locations in Boston. TD Banknorth can fork over enough money to sponsor the Garden, the biggest venue in Boston, yet there are only eight TD Banknorth ATMs within Boston city limits. Four of them are located in either the TD Banknorth Garden or the adjoining North Station. As a comparison, there are over 50 Bank of America ATMs in Boston. TD Banknorth may be the Official Bank of the Boston Celtics, but it is quite inconvenient for the rest of the population's banking needs.

11. Presidential Pardons: 

- Basketball fans, for leaving the Celtics for dead after the 2006-07 season.

- The 2006-07 Celtics, for giving basketball fans no choice but to leave them for dead after the 2006-07 season.

That's not too much to ask, right? Imagine if I were a Wizards fan...


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